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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  September 9, 2009 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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right now on "andrea mitchell reports," live in new york as president obama finishes work on his big speech tonight. what is his bottom line? republicans led by senator orr rin hatch are taking a preemptive shot, asking the president to scale back his propo proposeal and instead focus on areas of bipartisan. aides say he'll endorse a public
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option but not issue an all the may tum. how will that go over with house democrats. speaker nancy pelosi met with the president tuesday. >> i believe that a public option will be essential to our passing the bill in the house of representatives. as far as our house members are concerned, the overwhelming majority of them support a public option. right now we will have a public option in our bill. at the supreme court today, an unusual special session three weeks before the traditional first monday in october. the court, including for the first time justice sotomayor, pampered government lawyers with questioning indicates there could, perhaps, be five votes ready to overturn decades of precedence. restricting private corporations and union contributions to political campaigns. >> my difficulty is, that you make very impassionate arguments about why this is a bad system
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that the courts have developed in jurs prudence. but we don't have any records of -- you make a lot of arguments about how far into the nature of corporations, single corporations, et cetera, but there's no -- that i'm reviewing that actually goes into the very question that you're arguing exists, which is patch work of regulatory and jurs prudential guidelines that are so unclear. and remembering walter cronkite. colleagues, friends and two presidents, one current, one former, president obama and former president clinton honoring the late tv newsman at today's memorial at lincoln center in new york. >> he never dared compromise his integrity.
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>> i just wound up being crazy about the guy. for reasons that had nothing to do with all the things we're here honoring him about today. i thought he was one of the most interesting men i ever saw. >> and that's the way it was. good day, i'm andrea mitchell lye in new york. the president's speech tonight is the big story at the white house. let's go straight to chuck todd, nbc news chief white house correspondent and political director. chuck, well, the stakes could not be higher. this is the restart. what we've heard now is orrin hatch sent a letter to the president saying let's cut this back, streamline it, agree on the historic opportunities to push for areas of agreement. that's basically saying kick the ball down the road. they're not going to go for that? >> reporter: they're not. i know the republicans have been trying to do -- yesterday mitch mcconnell went on the senate floor, called for, hey, let's just start this entire process over.
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and obviously that would slow things down. that isn't where the white house is on that. the white house's mind set is, look, they're pretty close to getting a deal done with one republican that they care about at this point, and that's olympia snowe. the senior senator from maine. maybe that'll bring along susan collins. more importantly, what that does is you get olympia snowe, then you'll get ben nelson, the c conservative democrat. she gets enough cover for those folks at this point to get what they want. what she's calling for, she's a potential person that's okay with a trigger for a public option. which, of course, sounds like with all of the house democratic leadership, if you read between the lines, they'll accept. >> let's talk about waiting for max baucus. how long are they going to wait for max baucus? let's watch what he said earlier today. the bottom line is he's missing a self-imposed deadline and a white house deadline. let's watch. >> right. >> each day goes by, talking to
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senators, private statements and public statements, and some statements over to the side of the capitol, more and more in my view it's -- i could be wrong. but it's my belief the public option cannot be -- [ inaudible question ] >> you know, it's very interesting. >> chuck todd, basically he has agreed on a couple of principles. we're talking about co-ops not the public option as defined by nancy pelosi. but they're talking about not having -- this is not -- they're passing them by. >> reporter: he is. look, he's not irrelevant to the process no matter what happens because he's chairman of the senate finance committee. at the end of the day the senate finance committee has jurisdiction over whatever legislation ends up getting passed by the entire united states senate. he's no longer playing point. when he came out with this blueprint yesterday, i had
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people at the white house say, well, i saw this in june. and they're like, where -- if this is it, then why didn't he come out sooner? a lot of capitol hill watchers saying, hey, had he come out with this as the blueprint in june, forced grassley and enzi to sign off on it, you might have had a bipartisan thing to agree to. clearly after the month of august grassley and enzi are no on this front, no to this blueprint. but they were sitting out there potentially waiting. i think how he managed the politics of this has made his less relevant to this process. he is still relevant because he is an important committee chair. but he is now not the guy playing point. the president of the united states is playing point. he's drafting, frankly, the legislation with what he says tonight. >> all right. chuck todd, it's not without notice at the briefings yesterday robert gibbs said he read those talking points from k street. the lobbyists had it first. you called him out on that as
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well. the white house is not pleased with how max baucus has handled it, at least so far. joining us now live from the capitol hill, republican senator kay bailey hutchison from texas who's, of course, also a candidate for governorover texas. thanks for joining us. will there be any bipartisan component? we've seen what mr. mcconnell had to say. what we saw today, mr. hatch saying to the president, let's scale this back, agree what we can agree on. but the president is under huge pressure from himself, from the white house, from his own campaign, and certainly from nancy pelosi and the house caucus to do a lot more. >> yes. exactly, andrea. he is under pressure. and when nancy pelosi said yesterday that a public option is essential to pass the house, she sort of threw down the gauntlet. and i know there is pressure. but if the president truly wants to bring america together and have republicans sign on to this, he really does need to
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start all over with a new blueprint. i think there are republicans, i'm certainly one, who believes that reform is needed, that we need more access to health care coverage for more people. but the way to get that is not the way they're approaching it, which is to have this big public government takeover. and to raise the costs on every taxpayer and then with the plan that's just come out of the finance committee as a beginning product, you're talking about a tax on every family and every individual in america. it's just not going to sell. >> senator, let me just pin yu down on that. you're talking about a, quote, government takeover. you use that term. you've been using that term president what the president and his supporters are talking about is a government option. it's one option which could be mix and match, which could be state by state to compete against the private plans. so that isn't a government takeover as you're defining it? >> are you talking about the co-op plan now?
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>> well, i'm talking about what the president -- i'm talking about what the president has said, what he said today, what david axelrod said on "meet the press." it would be one possibility. a government option. option doesn't mean takeover. >> well, it is going to turn into a takeover, andrea. because, first of all, it's going to be a government subsidized option. if it's the co-op, it's a government subsidized co-op. and, of course, if it is the government plan, it's a government plan and it is going to be subsidized by taxpayers. it's also going to have a tax -- a $6 billion a year on insurance companies at the same time that it says you must cut costs. and it has the tax on every individual and family. that's what max baucus's plan is, to say if you don't take coverage, here's your tax. here's your fee. >> let me catch you on that point. when you talk about taxes, republicans, many of you in your party are saying, let's cut
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costs and let's make it deficit neutral. yet you're opposing any kind of taxes, any kind of revenue raising. you can't have it both ways. >> what we're proposing and many of us are signed off on is to let every person have a credit. a tax credit for covering themselves so that they will have affordable insurance policy that will work for their families and something that they can carry with them throughout their lives. we are also proposing tort reform. medical malpractice reform. that's what will bring costs down. you don't need all these taxes on insurance companies, taxes on individuals, taxes on employers, which is what all these plans have. what you need is a free market out there. you need to keep the choices in health care and people are seeing that abandrea. i'm going a petition drive that
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says, bring our health care now. 1.2 million people have signed a petition that is going to be delivered at 2:00 to former senate -- former governor pete duh pont with the national center for public policy to say, people are uprising all over america. because they do understand this. and it is a tax, and it is going to be the beginning of government takeover of health care. >> senator, do you think it's better to have nothing than something? is no reform better than what the president is proposing? >> i think a good reform is necessary. i think bad reform could be worse than nothing. >> all right. that's the bottom line. >> look at great britain. they have never been able to change their system, even though most brits are against and don't like their health care rationing system. but they have not been able to
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change it. if you put a government program in that takes over all the private sector, you just can't undo it. that's the problem. >> kay bailey hutchison, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, andrea. please watch president obama's prime time address to a joint session of congress right here on msnbc at 8:00 eastern. after the president's speech, msnbc will be broadcasting the republican response. then catch keith olbermann live at 9:00, rachel maddow at 10:00, and the ed show at 11:00. after months of negotiations, a last ditch effort for a bipartisan bill may have fallen by the wayside today. h how. remembering water cronkite. a look at today's moving memorial to the tv anchorman known as the most trusted man in america. and happening live on msnbc right now, apple ceo steve jobs returns to the stage for his first product launch event since
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in a spirited orl argument today the supreme court heard what could become a landmark case involving campaign finance limits on corporations and labor unions. it's the first time justice sonia sotomayor took her seat on the high court. it involved a dispute over a campaign attack film entitled "hillary the movie." pete williams live at the court. first to you, pete, dramatic moments today. you've seen a lot of these arguments. this one was unusual to say the
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least. >> unusual in terms of the timing, the subject and i think, andrea, you know, we heard from senator mccain and senator finegold. they have every reason to be worried. it did appear after the argument today that five members of the court are prepared to strike down decades of laws and court rulings that limit the role of corporations and unions in buying campaign ads. the federal law says corporations and unions can't use their own money to buy ads that attack candidates or support candidates. and they can't even buy ads that mention candidates by name in the so-called blackout periods before primary and general elections. the backers of ""hillary the movie" say that is a violation of their free right to speech. the government defended the law. it says these laws have been on the books for a long time. this would overturn settled precedent and could open the door to corporations and unions
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flooding the system. but that did not seem to prevail here. my guess is if it goes as the oral argument did, we'll see the supreme court make a big change in where the money comes from in politics. >> we already had the audio released, jonathan and pete. this is justice briar questioning the whole argument that was listened to today. >> are we arguing about whether we should second guess congress on whether there is enough of a compelling interest and the tailoring is narrow enough? >> when we think of how many years it took for john mccain to pass mccainfine gold as bipartisan legislation which really did, we thought, change theerer tan forever, and now the supreme court court, and those of us that listened to the audio, it certainly seems like this is really -- there is a precedence of changing years and decades of precedent.
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>> it sure sounds like it. this is a very big deal. for more than 100 years now, andrea, there has been a struggle in this country over corporate power. how much role should government have in restricting the power of corporations to have their way in american life. this is not just about ads on tv. this is about fundamental power questions in american society. and this is a very big -- if the decision goes their way, it will be a very, very big victory for corporations. people on the other side have argued, corporations are not individuals. they are not protected with all the same rights as individuals have under our institution. if individuals want to get through a political action committee, corporate political action committee, that's legal. but until now, it has not been legal, for many years, long predating mccain-finegold. it was not legal for corporations to use all the money they had to get their way in politics. >> we should point out, labor unions. pete, this was the debut for the new justice.
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let's listen to a little bit of her questioning today. >> are you giving up on your earlier arguments that there are ways to avoid the constitutional question to resolve this case? i know that we asked for further briefing on this particular issue, overturning two of our court's precedents. but are you giving up on your earlier arguments that there are statutory interpretations that would avoid the constitutional question? >> no, justice sotomayor. there are all kinds of lines that the court could draw which would provide a victory to my client. >> pete, there's clearly some way -- she and some others on the court, four justices are looking for a way to narrow this down so that it doesn't become an overturning of the law. >> what he's saying is couldn't we interpret federal law in some way so that it doesn't apply to
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"hillary: the movie." the key votes here are justice roberts and justice alito. we know three members of the court already think this law ought to go. the question is can you get the five by adding roberts and alito. after the karargument today, andrea, the answer appears to be yes. >> let's go to what john mccain had to say. he and senator finegold came out. clearly disappointed today. >> i was rather disappointed in some of the justices' apparent naivety as to how corporate and union and unlimited money affects the legislative process. does anyone believe that the rights of average citizens to be heard in washington would not be overridden by massive campaign, unlimited campaign contributions from corporations and unions? that is a disconnect from
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reality. >> so, jonathan, that is exactly the point you were just making. pete, there could still be argument when they get into conference. could someone persuade justice roberts that, after all, when he was up for confirmation he talked about very decisive and not going against precedent? >> i think that's the question here. i think the government is not going to win this case. they're not going to uphold these laws altogether as written. the question is now can the court come up with some way to narrow them. can they say we're going to let nonprofit corporations like the aclu, national rifle association and citizens united, the group behind the movie, we're going to exempt them from the law. maybe if they take a little bit of corporate concontributions, we'll still let them buy c campaign ads. at the end of the argument it didn't seem like they were interested in narrowing anything, andrea. what would he have to say
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about all this? walter cronkite. the man who defined anchorman, the memorial just concluded. former president bill clinton was there to say kind words about con cironkite. others who spoke, tom brokaw and, of course, president obama. >> i have benefited as a citizen from his dogged pursuit of the truth. his passionate defense of objective reporting. in his view that journalism is more than just a profession. it is a public good vital to our democracy. >> walter cronkite died july 17th in new york after a long illness. he was 92 years old. if you're like a lot of people,
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"new york times" reporter steven fehr ril was taken hostage by the taliban over the
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weekend is freed today after a military raid in afghanistan left two people dead including, unfortunately his interpreter. we're sorry for the loss of your employee in afghanistan. tell us about this rescue. because it's quite dramatic gl thanks, andrea. as we've reported in the paper this morning, the british commandos went in and rescued steven. unfortunately, one of the commandos was lost as well as a woman and interpreter. i must tell you, "the new york times" did not know it was occurring. and most of us at the paper did not know that steven had even been taken captive. it was kept very, very quiet as it happened previously with another "time"s reporter captured by the taliban. >> clearly that is the best advice of the military in terms of getting people out. but according to reporting "new york times" in the, an old man warned them that the taliban were coming.
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and before they could get away, the taliban had approached. this only reinforces, of course, our military lost four people yesterday in a terrible ambush raid. the situation there is so fragile. hillary clinton was warned by ambassador iken berry only two days ago the election fraud is rampant. and told hamid karzai he should not be declaring victory. >> that is true. but it's a very difficult spot for the administration, because on one hand, you know, hillary clinton and the white house want to, you know, make good on their promise that they will investigate all charges of corruption. at the same time, they don't want to alienate too much hamid car dkarzai who rapier appears n who will be leading afghanistan. >> decisions coming as soon as the end of this week for
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redeployment, the general mcchrystal report? >> i don't know if it's as soon as late this week. we've been hearing it's going to be delayed somewhat. there's -- that's what we're hearing. it could be very different. they're saying it might go as late as this month, late this month. >> we should also say that a 34-year-old was lost. he was the father of two children. he worked regularly with the "new york times" and other news organizations and was studying for a masters degree in germany. he was only back briefly in afghanistan, returning to his fra translator role. i'm so sorry for that loss, to his family and loved ones. president obama, of course, saying again today he plans to get health reform passed soon. what will he say to congress tonight? is it any different than what he's been saying all summer long? will it work this time? his top white house adviser
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on this big day, what do members of congress want to hear from the president tonight in his speech? joining us now, democratic congressman from maryland, elijah cummings. good to see you. congressman, let's talk about the possibility of no ultimatum on the public option. was there any wiggle room in what we heard from jim clyburn and from even the speaker when she talked about, well, it has to be in the house bill. could there be a possibility it won't come out of conference that way? >> i think there is some effort to provide some wiggle room. because, andrea, democrats simply cannot fail to have significant health care reform. and so i think that there may be, but, again, i just left a meeting of the democratic caucus. and there is very, very strong support for the public option. and so i think the president
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tonight has to remind us of his number one issue during the campaign. and what he said. this is about -- these are about moral issue. making sure that our people are able to get accessible and affordable health care. >> so you're saying two things here. you're saying you want to hear the public option. but maybe as in often in politics you can define the public option differently. it's an option. it can be selected. it can be a co-op. it can be different things. as long as there's some competition against the private insurers? >> first of all, i cannot speak for the caucus. i can tell you the progressive caucus is very, very adamant about a robust public option. but what i'm also saying, that there is a segment of the caucus that's saying that, you know, we're not going to put a very, very -- very strict guidelines on this public option. we want to make sure that we get
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an option that allows for the insurance premiums to be controlled. you see, you can do all of the things like getting rid of the pre-existing condition previsions and the deductibles and all of those things, but if you're not controlling the costs, you've got a major, major problem. in other words, we have a lot of people who are saying, i want to keep what i have. and i want them to keep what they have. and the president wants them to keep what they have. but you know what's happening? they're going to get to a point where they won't even be able to afford what they have. that's a problem. >> the president tonight has to explain to people, you may like what you have, but you're not going to be able to keep it for very long in this economy. small businesses and others are unable to provide insurance. there's no pressure, there's no mandate on making sure that people do have these options. let me, though, suggest to you a very different approach, which is what senator orrin hatch wrote to the president today. let's agree on a small plan. i would urge you to take this historic opportunity to push for
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a responsible and incremental health care plan that can gain significant support on both sides of the aisle. in these tough economic times we have to be realistic about doing too much too fast. is senator hatch closer to the public -- the public mood right now of not taking on yet another big government plan? >> there's no doubt about it that the public is concerned about the money that's been spent in the stimulus, concerned about a lot of the misinformation that's been put out there. but i think this is a situation that deserves, in the words of president obama, the urgency of now. we've got 18,000 people dying every year because they have no health insurance. we've got 47 million with no health insurance. we've got 25 million underinsure. and we have come to a point where we think this is normal. no, this is not normal. this is abnormal when you look at other countries that are doing more or less universal type health care in a fine way. and so i think we've got to move
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a little bit faster than orrin hatch, senator hatch, is saying. and, you know, over and over again we've said delay, delay, delay. you know what delay has come to mean? death. >> let me just ask you finally before i let you go, congressman, you just came from the caucus. >> yes. >> is the mood "we've got to do something" what the bottom line is? we'll go over the cliff, flag flying for the public option, all or nothing? or do members want something so that they're not facing the voters next year with a failure? >> everybody wants something meaningful. but they want to make sure that we don't put ourselves in a situation where we are either worst off than what we are now. they want to make sure that we do not find ourselves taxing our generations yet unborn. i think -- i really do believe, though, that the president is going to come out and do what he
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did during the campaign. he's going to show us the way to put it all together, republicans, democrats, together. i do worry, though, and i am concerned about republicans saying they're going to come along with us. i don't think we'll get many republican votes no matter what. and so we're going to have to do it ourselves. >> that's the bottom line of the house caucus. let's go to the white house. valerie jarrett, senior adviser and assistant to the president. great to see you. >> hi, andrea, how are you today? >> i'm fine. but how is the president? how are you and the president and the white house team going to walk this tight rope? you want to have some republican support. orrin hatch sent you a letter saying slow down. do it incrementally. is that too slow or is that the right advice right now? >> look, i think, andrea, first of all, the president is in good spirits. he's looking forward to this evening. he welcomes the opportunity to speak directly to the american
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people and to the members of congress. we've made a lot of progress over a very short period of time. more progress in our nation east history towards achieving health care reform. we're now down to the final finish line. he's looking forward by the end of this evening to explain to the american people what's at stake here, what it's all about, how he's hoping that those who have health care will have an opportunity for security and stability, particularly at this fragile time, and those who don't have health care will be able to have an affordable choice and options. and so we're in good spirits and we're looking forward to the evening. >> well, you do have a gallup poll that might not put you in such good spirits. the gallup poll shows the president's job approval rating continues to fall as he's engaged on this big debate on the biggest issue, most intractable issue. approval, 51%. disapproval, 41%. will he decide to go for what is doable for the areas of agreement as defined, as written about today "new york times" in the, "the wall street journal." a lot has been agreed upon.
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is that enough, or does he want to follow the house caucus and, you know, go for the whole thing, the public option, do or die? >> well, do or die, andrea, i think what the president is interested in doing is not drawing lines in the sand just like that. i think that's the kind of language that polarizes. what he's interested in doing is bringing everyone together. as you said, 80% have agreed upon, there are many issues not agreed upon just a few short months ago. now they are. we want to make sure people who have pre-existing conditions are covered. we know we want to have affordable health care for everybody. we need the kind of insurance reforms that will squeeze a lot of the waste out of the system. we want to provide competition and choice. now we just have to bring all those plans together. there's been remarkable progress to the fact that four out of five committees have moved towards the markup. baucus announced today he's well on his way. i think that we see that there is an opportunity here for our leaders to come together and
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respond to what we know that they heard over the summer recess, that people want health care reform. and they want it right now. they don't want to have to wait. we've waited long enough. 14,000 americans every month are losing their health care. that can't continue at that rate. >> speaking of waiting long enough, max baucus indicates that they won't have a draft bill until next week and markup a week after that, has time passed max baucus and the finance committee by? do you guys have to go without what the gang of six was going to produce? >> you know what? it's premature to say that. i think, andrea, let's take it one day at a time. i think this evening presents a really terrific opportunity for the president to talk directly to american people. to talk to them about what's at stake here. it gives him an opportunity to ask congress to work with him as he has throughout this process. and we are very optimistic that we're going to make progress. >> what do you need the american people to understand coming out of tonight's speech? >> well, i think -- >> what are the key messages,
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the points you want them to infer from what you deliver? >> i think the key messages are really very simply what i said at the outset. we want the american people to understand that health care reform will provide them the security and the stability that they need to know that they're not going to have to choose between paying their rent and affording their health care and sending their children to college. everybody in this country should know that health care is affordable and available to them. the president will talk about the importance to have competition in the system, and that that's one way of bringing down costs. i think we'll know also that people who don't have health care will have an opportunity to have affordable health care. right now there are just far too many americans who are running the risk of losing their health care. in the last two years alone, andrea, one in three people at some point did not have health insurance. that's unacceptable in a country like ours. >> valerie, about 15 years ago president clinton gave a similar speech to a joint session and the teleprompter broke.
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do you have backup? >> i'm confident the president knows exactly what he wants to say. if something goes wrong, he'll speak from the heart. the american people will hear his message. this is about the american people. i'm not worried about whether he needs the text. he'll get through it, and get through it in a convincing way so everybody understands now is the time to pass health care reform. >> is it locked and loaded? or is he still rewriting on his way back from new york? >> you know our president. he will be working on the speech probably on the way back. he feels very comfortable with it. he was very positive about it yesterday. i know he's made some changes in the course of last evening and again this morning. and so he wants to make sure he gets it just right. it's a very important speech. and it's an opportunity, a unique opportunity to really speak to the american people at a time when everybody's paying attention. >> valerie jarrett, good luck tonight. talking about it as an important speech, it is probably the most important speech of his young presidency. thank you and good to see you. >> thank you, andrea. speak with you soon.
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thanks a lot. after tonight's prime time address to congress, president obama is taking his show on the road. taking his health care plan all over the country starting this weekend in minnesota. nted to get myself a new cell phone ♪ ♪ so i could hear myself as a ringtone ♪ ♪ who knew the store would go and check my credit score ♪ ♪ now all they let me have is this dinosaur ♪ ♪ hello hello hello can anybody hear me? ♪ ♪ i know i know i know i shoulda gone to ♪ ♪ free credit report dot com! ♪ that's where i shoulda gone! coulda got my knowledge on! ♪ ♪ vo: free credit score and report with enrollment in triple advantage.
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tonight as is president obama's second address before a joint session of congress. the first was in february when he had soaring approval ratings and a democratic party he invited behind him for health care reform. now democrats are divided and waiting to hear specifics about what the president wants in a final health care plan. and democratic strategist michael feldman, also republican strategist kevin madden joins us now to talk about this changing climate for the president. let's talk, first of all, about what eric cantor had to say today. the republican congressman, head of the republican caucus who talked about what republicans want to see.
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>> for us as republicans in the house, there's an opportunity, hopefully, for us to see our president willing to start to focus on areas that we can agree on and not just focus on the areas that divide us. we all understand, we can rally around solutions having to do with pre-existing conditions. we can do things about making sure that if somebody loses their job, they don't necessarily lose their health care. instead of trying to insist that government replacement or government competition is all that we should be about. >> mike feldman, that is basically what orrin hatch also wrote to the president about today. let's go for what we can obtain in a bipartisan way, incrementally. is that ever going to fly with the house democratic caucus. >> i think it might. first of all, representative cantor is right in one respect. in the plan you'll see republican proposals and
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democratic proposals. not everything in the president's plan is going to become law, but some of it may. there is a large swath of agreement on most of the health care plan. real health care reform, reform we haven't seen in decades, we're right on the verge of getting it. if some republicans can put aside the need to have an issue instead of health care reform, we may actually get a bill and americans can get what they voted on in november. >> kevin madden, are we going to have rare agreement here today. >> i think it would be a departure if the president were to reach out to republicans. up until this point he has only focused on criticizing republicans and painting them as an obstacle to reform. when, in fact, republicans have been at the table and insisting upon some sort of bipartisan solution to many of the health care reform issues that are out there today. so if the president really wants to reach out to republicans, he's going to have to talk about the issues that are most important to us. namely, cost. this is a trillion dollars over ten years, which is too much at a time of massive spending in
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washington. and competition. make sure that we don't crowd out private industry when it comes to this reform bill. and that we don't drive costs up in the process. >> by the way, roll call, mike feldman pointed out that in the president's first speech to congress, the joint session of congress last february, he devoted only 174 words of 6,400 words, 6,427 words to health care. did he miss the boat in not getting more specific and laying something more out? >> i don't think so. i think you heard the president this morning on interviews saying there was a little bit of a vacuum created over the summer. a lot of noise and a lot of misinformation developed over the summer. tonight essentially he gets the biggest stage a president has. he had the joint meeting of congress to explain directly to the american people what health care reform means to him and show us the way to get there. i think it's pretty clear. you know, if you have health insurance, his plan offers stability and security to keep
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it. if you don't have it, it offers an affordable path to get there. don't forget, the costs of health care which have doubled in the last decade threaten to do so again if we don't act. that cost that kevin's pointing to is very important. what are the costs if we don't act? that's what the president is pe. >> ah, the talking points. kevin madden what about sarah palin going back to the whole death panel issue in her comments, new comments about the death panel? completely discredited and trying to use eugene robinson, to our pal, our clog colleague, the pulitzer prize winner who did point out that people could rightly assume that there would be some cost cutting along with end of life care, but in the very next sentence what she doesn't point out, he slammed her for referring to death panels. how does she get away with that? >> i am not in the business defending anybody's supposition on whether or not there are death panels in this particular bill. i think that that's emblematic of the fact that when off debate
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that is as divisive as this one, be as important to as many americans, you are going to see rhetorical extremes. somewhere in the middle of those rhetorical extremes is a very important debate on the comparable effectiveness and end of life counseling. i don't think, andrea, that is exactly what is driving this debate. going back to what michael said, i think we are in agreement, costs are what's driving this debate. at the end of the day the president and the congress have to convince the american public that what they are proposing up on capitol hill is going to bring down health care costs. up until this point, democrats have not done that. that's why you have seen the president's approval rating go down 25 points. he has yet to convince the american public that he is controlling costs with their proposals. >> nicely done, kevin madden. running away from sarah palin without ever mentioning her name. i like that thank you, kevin madden, thank you, mike feldman. >> thanks, andrea. >> great to be with you, andrea. >> great to be with you guys. what political story will be making head lines in the next 24 hours? that is next. just confirmed the
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and this just in, senator tom harkin of iowa will be replacing senator toad kennedy as head of the senate health committee. senator dodd, chris dodd, had seniority but decided to stay as chair as senate banking. we understand that blanche lincoln of arkansas will succeed harkin as head of agriculture. these changes as we talk about what is coming up what will be be the if big story in the next 24. go right to anne kornblut, "washington post" reporter.
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no question it is going to be health care. >> has to be. i know we are kind of a one-trick pony here today. certainly health care, much of the president's speech will be, the focus to the reaction to the speech, as you said in your sellingments. any of the republicans reacted, preacted, as we say in the news business to the speech, putting them out ahead of time. whetherthy will shift their opinion after hearing what he has to say and recalcitrant democrats, liberals and moderates, any change their feelings after what he says. hear what he has to say and tomorrow, late tonight, we will be talking about how everyone else responded. >> clearly there will be some public reaction, some overnight polling, we will have all of that ann, thank you very much. a late night and busy night. i'm andrea mitchell. my colleague, contessa brewer will be picking up our coverage next. stay tuned for president obama's big speech tonight, begins at 8, right here on msnbc. orbitz is cutting hotel booking fees, but did you know you also get hotel price assurance?
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